Dave Challinor: An ‘emotional’ day that ‘couldn’t have gone much better’ for Hartlepool United as fans return for 4-0 win over Weymouth
Hartlepool United ended their regular season in front of supporters with their joint biggest National League win.
Goals from Ryan Johnson, Rhys Oates, Mark Shelton and Gavan Holohan saw Pools cruise to a 4-0 victory over Weymouth on Saturday afternoon.
It means they finish fourth in the league table and will face Bromley back at Victoria Park in the play-offs next weekend.
Despite his side just missing out on a top three place, manager Dave Challinor was delighted following the full-time whistle.
“The day as a whole couldn’t have gone much better for us,” he said. “It was very emotional in terms of what it means to have supporters back in here and to be able to walk around at the end and say thank you to them is great.
"Hopefully we get the chance even further down the line for that emotion to be even better if you like. I spoke to the players before hand and after the warm-up, there’s a lot of emotion and adrenaline floating around and we had to harness that and use it to our advantage and we did that really well at the start of the game and scoring early.
"We wanted the people in the ground to become a positive for us and not a potential distraction where it becomes too much for them.
"Things couldn’t have gone much better and we look forward to next week.”
Just over 1,700 Poolies returned to Victoria Park to make their voices heard on Saturday afternoon and become the side’s 12th man.
“We’ve said from when we first arrived here, we’ve got to make sure the crowd here is the 12th man," he added.
"I had to learn pretty quickly in order to what we needed to do in order to use the crowd and keep them entertained which can have a huge impact.
"You’re a long time retired so it’s experiences like that you enjoy and hopefully we can thrive in it next week to achieve what we want come the end of the season.
“It's massively different having the supporters in after the season we’ve had. We got our chance to experience that again and I'll remember it for a long time.”